Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Speech, after long silence-Babu Ram Bhattarai

.Till date two rounds of dialogue have already taken place, and we are now preparing for the third round. The tragedy of the situation is that although the third round of dialogue is set to begin, there are very many learned people who have no idea about what it is being held for, who just refuse to listen to it, or pretend they know nothing while, in fact, they know everything. Do they really think that after making these great sacrifices we will be willing to join the present political system, which is rotten to the core? Don't you think that we are ready for a dialogue to find a way out of the mess the country is currently in?

If we try a little and remember the situation of the country to 23 July, we will definitely get the answer. Haven't our great fighters achieved one victory after another, from Dunai to Holeri? Doesn't the "people's government", formed in almost all districts now, show that the nation is ready for a change, that the people have accepted us and support us fully? Isn't this proof of our success and our achievements? So how can you imagine that a force which has been victorious on the military and non-military fronts is surrendering when they come to the negotiating table? It is stupidity to even think so. Doesn't this show our greatness, in fact, that as the reactionary forces are moving from one disaster to another and we are moving from one victory to another, we are still prepared to come to the negotiating table and speak with them? Despite this, the reactionary government is not prepared to find a peaceful way out of this problem and only harps on that it is not prepared to compromise on the present constitution or the constitutional monarchy.

Keeping the aspirations of the people in mind, our party has agreed to an agenda that meets its goals only halfway. We have put aside our main demands and are ready to meet the other party. For now, we only want an interim government, a new constitution and a republic. This is our minimum-points agenda at the moment. These are not communist principles but are, in fact, pure capitalist ideas that we have put forward.

The above three points are indivisible and inter-related. Negating one makes the others incomplete-it only takes common sense to figure this out. Anyone can understand that an interim government leads to a new constitution, and a new constitution leads to a republic. Anyone can figure that out. If we say an interim government only, it means staying within the present system and constitution and this is not in our interests.

There are certain issues that we had put forward right in the beginning, but it seems that many people simply did not get it, or analysed it incorrectly. First of all, we have agreed to stop all military activities. We have in no way stopped our political activities-we have continued the process of forming people's governments, the collection of donations and other economic and peaceful activities. No one has ever objected to these activities. If people do not understand this, there is little we can do to help them. During this ceasefire, we will be carrying out our regular activities-everything but our military campaign. We have the right to do what we want and no one can tell us what to do.

I think it will be proper to talk about donations. A donation is something given voluntarily. It is not collected forcefully, and that is not what we do. Revolutionaries collect donations in a peaceful manner, while the enemies of the revolution collect taxes and fines forcefully from the people. In fact, the enemies confiscate property forcefully at times, too. We also have the right to collect economic wealth, that is a fundamental belief of any revolution. In our efforts to collect donations, we have heard, some difficulties crept in, in the way we were doing it. Our leader Prachanda has publicly apologised for that. This does not mean that we have stopped collecting donations, for the time being or for all time. We are still collecting in many areas. We are just requesting people to be cautious and make sure no one is cheating them in our name.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)